Melinda Wilner: The Bold Pioneer of the Mortgage World

Melinda Wilner

Leading a team of 7,000 members within a highly competitive industrial landscape is not for the faint-hearted. Melinda Wilner, Chief Operating Officer of Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is the embodiment of such a daring leadership style that sets the firm a class-apart from the rest of its market competition. UWM is renowned for its highly efficient, accurate, and expeditious support mechanisms and for providing state-of-the-art technology and unrivaled client service. UWM underwrites and provides closing documentation for residential mortgage loans originated by independent mortgage brokers, correspondents, small banks, and local credit unions.

Meeting the Audacious Leader

UWM is led on its path of greatness under the guidance of its formidable and audacious COO, Melina Wilner. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University, Melinda leads over 9,300 team members in Underwriting, Operations, and IT. Within this arena, she is pioneering a new standard of excellence by focusing on efficiency, accessibility, and service. Melinda oversees the largest collective group of teams at UWM, where she constantly strives to streamline the lending process for mortgage brokers and borrowers nationwide. She has been helming the reigns of the firm since 2015.

A leader who cares to challenge you and does challenge you is a leader who will help you grow

– Melinda Wilner

Back in 2011, Melinda joined UWM as an Underwriting Manager. Since then she has worked in several key capacities including that of the Head of Underwriting and Chief Risk Officer. Melinda’s brilliance has been recognized with several accolades including awards like the 2016 Corp! MVP, 2016 Mortgage Professional America Hot 100, 2017 HousingWire Women of Influence, 2017 HousingWire Vanguard, 2018 National Mortgage Professional Mortgage Banking Most Powerful Woman, and the 2019 Women with Vision award. She currently sits on the UWMC board of directors and the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Advisory Board. Under Melinda’s auspices, UWM has earned the distinction of being named the #1 wholesale lender in the nation six years in a row.

Striving for Greatness

Melinda epitomizes the imagery of a daring business woman who is geared towards attaining that which lies beyond the horizon. She devotes her time and effort to ideate strategies that will make UWM’s loan processing procedures more streamlined for customers. By perpetually reviewing the standard protocols of operation at UWM, Melinda is dedicated to the task of creating a much more customer-friendly and nuanced approach to all UWM operations.

The brilliance of this ingenious spirit led to the development of the Client Request system. This system is based on client feedback. It is designed to help optimize responses to client queries. Since the system is equipped with automatic routing to the most conducive help for a query generated by the client, getting answers to questions is now possible at an unmatched resolution speed.

Pillar of Inspiration

Melinda derives her relentless drive to excel in all arenas of her life from the formidable legacy of her father. As a hardworking man, who also raised six kids, he was her source of inspiration growing up. At the same time, he showered those around him with genuine love and affection. This motivates Melinda as she aspires to be like him and make a positive impact on all those around her.

Perpetual Introspection

Intuitive introspection is one of the most invaluable traits of any audacious business leader. This is also true for Melinda. Implementing her father’s teachings in her daily life, Melinda believes in looking inward and asking herself if her thinking process is acting as the roadblock to an opportunity. At other times, Melinda derives strength from her deterministic outlook that pushes her to solve the day’s puzzle at any cost. She asserts, “To put it simply, if you have a goal, the hard work often is the smart work as long as you’re conscious of how you are spending the minutes of your day and making sure they’re as impactful as possible.”

A Daring, Yet Optimistic Outlook

Life’s unpredictability is one of its greatest treasures, according to Melinda’s outlook. She believes that it is extremely easy to get enticed in the negative aspects of life’s ‘what ifs’, but the challenge is to truly appreciate and anticipate the positive ones. While it is important to remain prepared for all possible outcomes, Melinda asserts that at most times our wildest fears and worries never come to fruition. It is thus, imprudent to let these issues affect people’s decision-making abilities. Instead, such an approach dilutes one’s focus from the important things at hand. Melinda approaches challenges uniquely. As she asserts, “I consciously put things in perspective, I compartmentalize the things I can and cannot control. It’s important to take what comes at you in stride, knowing you are strong enough to get through whatever comes at you.”

Pioneering A Nuanced Management Style

Melinda’s management style is emblematic of the very essence of all daring business women. She believes in developing her team by asking detailed questions so that she can help guide their progress while offering them the autonomy they need to accomplish their goals. She also believes that a clear and consistent communication style is necessary for the team. “It’s important to me that the entire team feels comfortable voicing their opinions, ideas, and concerns, and operating from a place of kindness is how we get there,” asserts Melinda.

The spirit, propulsion, and care that happens when everyone is working toward a common vision is how we remain competitive and hungry every day

– Melinda Wilner

She has a similar perspective on nurturing long-term relationships with clients. Melinda believes that this feat rests on the provision of elite services. Elite service goes beyond simply speed and problem-solving, it is about showing clients how much the team at UMW cares about their partnerships. This is done by displaying appreciation, helpfulness, friendliness, and being their advocates.

Harmonizing Work & Home

Balancing work and home often turns into an arduous battle for most audacious business women. Melinda’s secret to striking a harmonious blend between her work and family life is hidden in a small exercise she performs daily. “Every day, I ask myself what will make me the best mom, wife, and leader and I use that to make decisions on what gets prioritized. Sometimes that means watching a video game tutorial on YouTube so I can play the game my son is really into at the moment. Other times, it means spending quality time with team members to learn more about them and their strengths and opportunities,” proposes Melinda. Honesty and introspection are the two key ideals one needs to imbibe in order to ace this balancing act.

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